All Around the Towns
There's plenty to see and do in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Both Villages are rich in history and architecture, and feature museums, historical sites, parks, and visual and performing arts.
The following are just a few destinations that the villages offer. For more local events and fine dining check out the following sites:
Sleepy Hollow Cemetary:
From the humble Washington Irving family plot to the giant mausoleum erected for Leona and Harry Helmsley on their own acreage, this is legendary. The expansive cemetery grounds are open daily for strolling or regular tours (including a popular evening tour by lamplight). Tours meet at the South gate, by reservation only.
Named after the Linden trees that are on the grounds, this Gothic revival mansion from 1838 has housed New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt and railroad tycoon Jay Gould. Considered strange in its time due to its asymmetrical facade, Lyndhurst is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can wander through the vaulted, lushly furnished rooms by a self-guided audio tour or partake in the 45-minute guided tour. The grounds are also open to exploring, with 67 acres of gardens, lawns, a steel-frame conservatory and Hudson views.
Rockefeller Archive Center:
Founded in 1974, the Rockefeller Archive Center houses over 70 million pages of records pertaining to the Rockefeller estate including the family's lineage and philanthropic efforts. The 19th century mansion features many paintings of the family members. Appointments are required to visit and the Archive Center is open for research purposes. Research space is limited to 7 person at a time.
Washington Irving's Sunnyside:
Washington Irving's impressive 18th century cottage is well-maintained with the home's original wisteria vines, bucolic gardens, pathways and vistas of the Hudson River. Guides dressed in period costumes explain the life and times of this legendary writer to guests. Visitors can also just pay a grounds fee to wander freely and picnic.
Philipsburg Manor and Kykuit Visitor's Center:
This is the home base for tours departing by shuttle bus for Kykuit (the Rockefeller estate) and Philipsburg Manor (the 18th century farm with historic animal breeds). Guests are welcome to wander around the grounds and buildings, participate in hands-on activities and watch demonstrations by interpreters in period costumes. Guided tours are available throughout the day.
Sleepy Hollow's postcard-perfect lighthouse operated from 1883 until the Tappan Zee Bridge's navigational lights rendered its service as unnecessary in 1955. Concerned community members saved it from demolition in the 1960s and it sat vacant until reopening as a public monument in 1983, 100 years after its inception. Now visitors only have to cross a little footbridge to enter what once was a live-in building accessible only by rowboat.
Old Dutch Church:
The Old Dutch Church and adjacent three acre graveyard are owned by the Reformed Church of Tarrytown. William Lent offers free tours of the grounds and explains Washington Irving's connection with this 17th century church.
This small, non-denominational Protestant church is a must-see local attraction for its collection of prized stained glass windows. Commissioned by the Rockefellers, one simple yet stunning Matisse Rose window above the pulpit (his last work before his death) joins nine unique Chagall windows flanking the nave. The nonprofit Historic Hudson Valley organization leads tours of the stained glass windows during viewing hours, while an active congregation comes for Sunday services, an annual harvest fair in October and musical concerts throughout the year.
Trails, Parks, and Fields
Rockefeller State Preserve:
About 22 miles of the approximately 860 acres of the Rockefeller family estate, donated to New York State in 1983, is now known as the Rockefeller State Preserve. The nature preserve features paths along rivers, woods, a 24-acre lake and panoramic vistas. Fishing is permitted in Swan Lake and the Pocantico River, but fee permits are required for horseback riding and carriage driving and there is a $5 parking fee for visitors.
Kingsland Point Park:
This county-owned, 18-acre park has ball fields, picnic areas, kayaking facilities and provides access to the Kingsland Point Lighthouse, also known as the Tarrytown Lighthouse. Built in 1883 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse stands in the shadow of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Group tours are available by appointment.
DeVries Park and Field:
The park has two ball fields, a bocce court, horseshoe pits, picnic area, a playground and a greenway trail.
This park is right next to Warner Library, straddling on the border between Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. It's home to a statue of John Paulding and commemorates the capture of British spy John André. The park houses a playground and basketball courts and is a favorite local spot for picnics and walks. The park hosts numerous events during the year like a village-sponsored farmers market on Saturdays from May to November and the Eco-Fair in September.
Patriot's Park is the setting for this market that includes a dozen vendors on Saturdays, some traveling several hours from farms in Connecticut and upstate New York. A line of tented tables features a colorful array of fresh produce, prepared foods, wine and meat. Many vendors offer tastings and there's a regular schedule of market events like live music and cooking demonstrations. This market is seasonal.
Arts and Entertainment
The Tarrytown Music Hall is a historic theatre located in the center of town. It has been offering live music performances, theatre, dance and films for over 125 years. Music icons ranging from The Count Basie Orchestra to Bruce Springsteen have performed here.
Hudson Valley Writers Center: The Hudson Valley Writers' Center is dedicated to the advancement of the literary arts and serves as an important hub for writers and readers in the region. Since 1988, HVWC has hosted workshops, classes and readings in the community. The non-profit also conducts outreach programs to enrich regional audiences.
Formerly known as Gallery du Soleil, this award-winning art gallery features contemporary work by an array of international artists. Canfin is a great destination for locals who wish to appreciate paintings and sculptures in a sophisticated environment.
This gallery is in the heart of Tarrytown and features contemporary paintings, sculptures and photographs by American artists. Displays at Tappan Z Gallery are constantly changing, which makes each visit an original and unique experience.